Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Tips for Better Cell Phone Photos

My latest article is up on Scrapjazz, and I've posted it here as well.  I hope you find it helpful.  If you do, or if you have any questions or other ideas, please leave a comment here.  Thanks!

7 Tips for Better Cell Phone Photos

by Jeanette Giancaspro (Jun 27, 2013)
Lately I've been finding that I use my cell phone's camera more often than I use my regular camera.  That's probably because my cell phone is with me almost all the time.  It's easy to grab it whenever I want to snap a quick picture of something interesting, memorable, or just plain cool.  With the improved picture quality of today's cell phones, combined with some user-friendly apps, it's easier than you think to get lots of scrapworthy photos.  Here are seven tips that I have for you to help you get the most out of your cell phone's camera.
1. Know your cell phone and its camera.
Just like any other camera, your cell phone's camera has limitations.  There are things that you can and can't do with it, and you need to familiarize yourself with its capabilities in order to get the most out of it.  I highly recommend that you read the manual that came with your phone.  If you don't have a printed copy, you can probably find it online.
2. Take more than one photo.
In my previous article for amateur photographers, I suggested that you take more than one photo of the same shot. That way, you are almost guaranteed a good shot.  It's the same when you're using your cell phone's camera.  Take two or three photos, and choose the best one.
3. Print your photos at a smaller size.
Because the resolution of your phone's camera is lower than that of a regular camera, you will have to print them at a smaller size.  I find that 2" x 3" and 3" x 4" are good sizes for these photos.  Sometimes I can even get a good 3" x 5" photo.
4. Take a breath.
If you take a breath and hold it right before you are about to touch the shutter icon, this will steady your hand and result in a photo that is less blurry.  Just don't forget to breathe out again!
5. Use your apps.
I have an iPhone, APPLE IP416GBBLK IPHONE 4 16GB (Google Affiliate Ad)and there are a lot of photo apps in the App Store.  My favorite is Camera+, because it's very user-friendly, and the results are amazing.  Plus it was free! There are also a lot of apps available for other makes of cell phones.  Do a little exploring, and try them out. Here's a winter photo that I touched up with Camera+:
                 Before                                              After
6. Have a photo management system.
This could be as simple as going through your photos on the same day each month, backing them up and deleting the unusable ones.  A good photo management system is one of the keys to getting the most enjoyment from your photos.
7. Use a smaller format for displaying your photos.
Because you will probably be printing your cell phone photos at a smaller size, it makes sense to use a smaller-sized album to showcase them.  An 8 ½" x 11", 8" x 8", or 6" x 6" scrapbook, along with coordinating papers, would be a good size.  Another option is to use divided page protectors in a larger 12" x 12" scrapbook.
I hope these tips have motivated you to start taking more photos with your cell phone's camera, and have given you some ideas for improving the photos you're already taking.  Just remember to keep your cell phone with you at all times, and keep snapping those photos!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm On a New Design Team!

I just found out today that I've been asked to join the Scrapper's Playground Design Team!  I'm really looking forward to working with the other talented ladies who have been chosen for the team.  SP is a very cool store.  If you have a chance, stop by and check it out.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Project Life: Incorporating the Holidays

Hi everyone!  Do you do Project Life?  Do you wonder how to include the holidays in your layouts?  I have some ideas for you in my latest article for Scrapjazz.


One of the things I like the most about Project Life is that it frees me to document the common, everyday happenings in our lives.  Since I started Project Life, I've been able to capture moments like my son helping his sister with her homework, my children playing a video game without arguing, and seeing a package of cookies that took me back 40 years to when I was a little girl in my grandmother's store.  These are the things that I want to remember, and that I want my family to remember as well.  But what about the big events, such as birthdaysweddings, and holidays?

Like many other scrapbookers who are doing Project Life, I still scrapbook single events and holidays in separate albums; however, I do want to include some photos in my monthly Project Life layouts as well.  That can present a challenge for some of us, and here is how I've decided to handle this challenge.


The first thing I did was decide which pictures I would include.  Since I had already made the Christmas layout in our holiday album, I wanted to use some of the ones that I didn't use for that layout.  Then I chose some of the everyday photos that I had taken during December.  After trimming them down to (or printing them in) the sizes that I wanted to use in my layout, I moved on to selecting my papers. 
I decided on the Season's Greetings collection by Echo Park, and I added cardstock in matching colors.  Although the turquoise cardstock isn't in the patterned papers, I thought that adding a pop of blue would add a wintry touch to the layout without it being overwhelmingly "Christmas."  I love the contrast that it adds.

For my title, I used white cardstock and stamped "December" in a matching blue ink.  I used the same white cardstock, plus a scrap of vellum, for my journaling.  I added some of the stickers from the Season's Greetings collection, a few flowers from my stash, and a couple of strips of washi tape.

So there you have it:  my solution to the challenge of how to include the holidays in your Project Life layouts.  Combining both seasonal and non-seasonal supplies makes it easy to mix holiday and everyday photos smoothly, so that they complement each other and result in a balanced spread that is fun to look at.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Awesome Color Application!

Kevin from Stampscapes is a fantastic artist!  I just had to share this video with you.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Splash of Fruit: Summer Color Combo

Hi everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather, despite the "rain, rain" that doesn't want to "go away."  Well, scrapbooking is a great indoor activity for those rainy days, and my latest article is up on the Scrapjazz website.  I've posted it below also.
Please leave some feedback here on my blog about this article, as well as article topics you'd like to see in the future.  Are you interested in videos?  Are there specific products you'd like more information about?  Let me know, and I'll do my best to cover those topics/products.
Enjoy the article, and remember to be your crafty self!

A Splash of Fruit:  Summer Color Combo
by Jeanette Giancaspro

Fruit is a hot trend in the scrapbooking industry right now.  Several manufacturers are featuring both a fruit theme and fruity colors in their summer lines this year.  Although I’m not a trendy scrapbooker, I’ve always liked bright, fresh, fun colors. 

This layout is from a few years ago, but you can see how I used paper with strawberries and cherries, as well as fruit-colored papers.  I wrote the journaling on a strawberry die cut, and the flowers were part of the paper’s design.  I cut the title with my Big Kick (Big Shot), using a QuicKutz alphabet. The sunglasses, pail and shovel, and flip-flops are Sizzlit dies, and I cut them out of foam.



This layout is more recent, but the color palette is basically the same.  There is more orange and blue, and a little less green and pink, but the colors are still bright and “fruity.”  Instead of die-cutting the title, I painted chipboard letters to match my papers.  This time I used my Cricut machine to cut the embellishments, and I stamped the fish and the smaller words in the title. 

As you can see in the second layout, these freshly-picked colors aren’t only for “girly” layouts. They work just as well with pictures of the men in our lives.  And they aren’t just for summer either.  The colors in this palette are perfect for birthdays, travel, celebrations, children, and many other themes.

There is an old saying:  “Everything old is new again.”  It certainly applies to the scrapbook industry.  Although the papers that I used are no longer available, the new lines of products have a very similar look and feel to them.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Now that the warm weather is finally here, I’m sure that many of you will be out and about taking pictures of the fun you’re having outdoors.  I hope you’ll try using some of these fresh and fruity colors on the layouts that you make with those pictures.